Puerto Rico farmers and rural small businesses for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects looking to develop energy efficiency and renewable energy projects have the chance to obtain funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program, agency Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced.
The current funding cycle is part of the agency’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy, Vilsack said.
“The Obama administration continues its commitment to help our nation become more energy independent by partnering with agricultural producers and rural small businesses as they build renewable energy systems and reduce energy usage,” said Vilsack.
“These investments will not only help our farmers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs, but also provide a new potential revenue source and stabilize their operations’ bottom lines,” he said.
REAP, authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, (known as the “Farm Bill”) is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation’s critical energy needs. USDA is accepting the following applications:
- Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications until April 30, 2013;
- Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications until July 15, 2013;
- Renewable energy system feasibility study grant applications through April 30, 2013.
Since the passage of the 2008 Farm Bill and through the end of Fiscal Year 2012, REAP has funded more than 6,800 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, feasibility studies, energy audits, and renewable energy development assistance projects nationwide, including Puerto Rico.